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Egypt’s FM to join summit of Arab, US diplomats in Israel

Egypt’s foreign minister will take part in groundbreaking talks in Israel alongside his counterparts from the US and three Arab states, an Israeli official said.

Sameh Shoukry will be joining US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the foreign ministers of the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco for a series of meetings hosted by their Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid, an Israeli official told AFP on Saturday, condition of anonymity.

The two-day event will be held against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a conflict that has sparked wider security concerns and sent oil and food prices soaring.

It also comes as the United States is close to reaching an agreement with Iran to restore the 2015 accord limiting Tehran’s nuclear activities in return for removing sanctions on the country

The United Arab Emirates forged diplomatic ties with Israel in 2020 under a series of US-brokered deals known as the Abraham Accords.

Bahrain and Morocco followed suit, while Sudan also agreed to normalize ties with Israel although it has yet to finalize a deal.

The agreements, reached under former US president Donald Trump, broke with decades of Arab consensus that there would be no relations with Israel while the Palestinian question remains unresolved.

The two-day meeting in Israel follows a three-way summit hosted by Egypt on Tuesday at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the UAE’s de facto ruler, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, after decades of enmity and conflict. Jordan followed suit in 1994.

The “historic summit” announced Friday by Israel will mark the first time the foreign ministers of the Emirates and Morocco make a public visit to the Jewish state.

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